Forbes Features Innovationship Client's Healthcare Innovations

Posted by Robert Celaschi on 5/28/14 11:53 AM

With help from Innovationship, a community health system learned how design thinking could improve healthcare for a high-need population. A new post at gives the details.



design thinking in healthcare

"Design Thinking in Healthcare: One Step at a Time" discusses the application of design thinking to healthcare innovation challenges such as how to cost-effectively improve the patient experience, workflow, and operations. View the full article »

Healthcare innovation is urgent, explains Henry Doss (@henryhartdossin a post on Friday May 23rd, 2014 at, because we need to somehow "provide more and higher quality healthcare, to more and more people, while simultaneously lowering the cost of delivering that care." The fact that "transformational leadership in healthcare can happen anywhere" is cause for hope, he says, citing Venice Family Clinic's collaboration with Innovationship as an example that shows design thinking can "solve some interesting health care delivery challenges."

Some excerpts from the Friday post:

"Venice Family Clinic, a leading community health center in Venice, California, faced the challenge of opening a new children’s clinic serving low-income families, many on Medicaid, and many uninsured....

"The answer was to adopt a design-thinking approach to building out the clinic and the patient experience.  The clinic leadership asked Leon Segal and Scott Underwood of Innovationship to develop a design-based approach to building out the physical infrastructure, processes and systems of the new children’s clinic.... They convened an energetic and committed team of design leaders, clinic administrators, medical staff and others and set about totally redesigning the patient experience, the clinical space, workflow and operations."


Celebrating tangible results

The whole point of design thinking is to get results for the organization employing it. "The most gratifying part of Innovationship's work is when we see our clients enjoying the benefits of design thinking," says Innovationship co-founder Leon Segal.

More than 100,000 people visit the Venice Family Clinic each year. Most have no health insurance, and the vast majority are below the poverty level. Children make up nearly 30 percent of the patient population.

Laney Kapgan, the clinic's chief development officer, invited Innovationship to advise on the design of a new children's clinic. 

Questioning assumptions

Doss describes in Friday's post how Innovationship gave the Venice Family Clinic the tools to usefully question assumptions related to a very tradition-bound area of medicine: the point at which people enter the healthcare system. The staff learned how to employ lessons learned from seemingly unrelated businesses, such as the way a restaurant moves people through potential bottlenecks, or how the crew at an auto race can shave precious seconds from a pit stop.

Freed from traditional thinking, the Venice Family Clinic came up with some fresh ways to welcome people, get vital information and move them through the system without wasting their time.

"We expected design thinking but didn’t expect so much design action and the outcomes that come from this process!" Kapgan said.

Because Kapgan and her team had the vision and resolve to use design thinking as a framework during planning, the results of their work will lead to better care and more efficient processes. To learn more, read Doss' article



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Topics: Examples